Summer Public Service Program 2024
Eligible Students and Organizations
The SPSP is available to rising 2L and 3L JD students at Texas Law. An eligible sponsoring organization is a:
- government office,
- 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization,
- 501(c)(4) tax-exempt social welfare organization,
- international NGO, government office, or intergovernmental organization, or
- legislative office.
Judicial offices, trade associations, unions, and private employers are not eligible. Students with positions in courts may be able to earn academic credit through the Judicial Internship course.
Supervision and Work Expectations
Fellowships will be provided for full-time law-related work at eligible sponsoring organizations for a minimum of five weeks and a maximum of ten weeks. The work must be supervised by an attorney employed by the sponsoring organization or a professional working closely with an attorney employed by the sponsoring organization. Students may perform their work in person or remotely.
Students will follow the sponsoring organization’s policies regarding the definition of “full-time work” for office staff, including the observance of holidays. Any absences for minor illnesses will be handled by the student with the sponsoring organization. The SPSP staff will address extraordinary circumstances requiring extended absences from work on an individual basis.
A student may split a 10-week fellowship between two organizations, but funding is not available for any position of fewer than five weeks.
The SPSP stipend will be $800/week and will not be pro-rated for partial weeks. If a sponsoring organization or another source within the law school provides funding for an eligible position, the SPSP stipend will be reduced to adhere to the $800/week funding cap from these sources. For example, if a student receives $300/week from a sponsoring organization, the SPSP award will be $500/week.
There is no cap on a student receiving additional funding from outside sources for (1) the eligible position or (2) unrelated work undertaken during the summer. An “outside source” is a third party that is not the sponsoring organization and is external to the law school and the University. The Texas Law Review and Texas Law Fellowships, independent 501(c)(3) organizations, are both external to the law school and the University and are thus outside sources. Additional information about funding from outside sources, including disclosure and potential sources, is available on this EID-protected page.
A student may accept payment from a sponsoring organization for additional weeks of work after completing a 10-week fellowship supported by the SPSP. A student may also accept up to $1,000 from a sponsoring organization to cover transportation costs to and from the sponsoring organization’s location. This type of transportation stipend will not reduce a student’s eligibility for SPSP funding.
A student must disclose all funding awarded for an SPSP-supported position to all funders.
A student who receives a full 10-week fellowship and doesn’t receive outside funding for their position is eligible to receive an additional one or two weeks of SPSP funding if (1) the additional weeks of work are otherwise unpaid and (2) the student expects their educational debt for law school to exceed $80,000. The result will be the student working for 11 or 12 weeks with $800/week support from the SPSP. Eligible students must apply for the additional weeks of funding when submitting their SPSP applications. Requests for extended fellowships will not be considered after the application deadline.
Rapoport Center Summer Fellowships
A separate application is required for summer fellowships administered by the Audre and Bernard Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice. Applications are due by Friday, March 8. See the Rapoport Center website for information.
Application Information for Summer 2024
SPSP applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis starting December 1, 2023. Apply as soon as you have all the information necessary to submit a complete application.
Students who wish to be considered for a named fellowship must apply by noon, on Friday, March 8, 2024. The final application deadline is 11:59 pm on April 29, 2024. SPSP funding will be disbursed during the week of May 13. Students who need to make changes to their application may submit an updated application prior to April 29. Changes to applications will not be accepted after the April 29 deadline.
The Justice Center will administer the program and the application process through Canvas. Email firstname.lastname@example.org starting December 1, 2023 to be added to the 2024 SPSP Canvas site. It may take 2-3 business days to receive the Canvas notification email and site access. All application requirements must be completed on Canvas. Sample forms are provided below.
To Apply for a Fellowship
- Submit an SPSP Application Form, which includes an optional question for students applying for named fellowships
- Submit a resume
- Submit a signed Student Agreement
- Submit a Sponsoring Organization Verification Form completed by the sponsoring organization (or organizations if more than one)
- Review training materials in preparation for the position (available as a recording)
End of Summer Requirements
- Attest to completing the weeks of work funded by SPSP
- Evaluate the work experience using the CSO evaluation form
- Submit a summer survey detailing all work performed and all funding received
Additional Requirements for Receiving a Named Fellowship
- Appear in a photograph on the law school website (see examples here)
- Write a thank you note to the donor at the end of the summer